guide

Convert any page (with images, JavaScript, etc.) into a locally stored iPhone app with new script

We previously reported on a method for storing an entire set of HTML in a bookmark on the iPhone (in effect allowing "Web apps" to live locally on the device) by utilizing the data: URL. All page content is stored in bookmark data, and can be accessed when no network connection exists â?? even if the iPhone is in Airplane mode.

Now, developer Kee Hinckley along with the folks at Somewhere Inc. have created an enhanced perl script that will take any entered URL and convert the entire page (including any images, JavaScript, CSS, etc. -- the previous … Read more

About the Apple Bluetooth headset

Apple has published a series of Knowledge Base articles detailing various usage and troubleshooting instructions for its newly shipping Bluetooth headset:

How to pair iPhone Bluetooth Headset Make it discoverable by holding the headset button for 8 seconds. How to charge iPhone Bluetooth Headset: The headset can be charged via USB 2.0 or AC and reach full capacity in about and hour and a half. Bluetooth Headset troubleshooting Solving problems with pairing, not charging, intermittent connectivity and more. Finding the serial number It will be necessary in the case of replacement. About auto-pairing Doesn't work in Airplane mode (… Read more

Another option for iPhone insurance: credit card purchase protection

We previously reported that the iPhone is covered under a standard limited one-year Apple warranty, but is not eligible for AT&T's wireless phone insurance, which (for a $5 monthly fee) will provide replacement in the case of loss or theft, accidental physical or liquid damage or mechanical and electrical failure after the manufacturer's warranty period has expired, and noted several options for protection. Among them: AppleCare, third-party warranties like those offered by SquareTrade and Homeowners'/renters' insurance.

One set of options we left out is purchase protection plans offered by credit card companies.

As noted by … Read more

How to enable a Find function for the current Web page in iPhone's browser

Filling one of the most glaring functionality gaps in the iPhone's version of Safari, a developer has created a JavaScript bookmarklet that offers the ability to find text strings on the currently displayed Web page.

What's a bookmarklet you ask? It's a piece of code that is stored as a bookmark (see our previous article on using the data: URL scheme to store iPhone Web apps locally). Basically, you can store the code in the bookmark, then simply access the bookmark from within Safari on the iPhone whenever you want to access its functionality.

The find function … Read more

Newbie's Guide to Google Reader

What is Google Reader and why should you use it?

Google Reader is a free, Web-based reader for RSS feeds. You can find feeds on nearly every Web site. RSS feeds offer a simplified view of Web content down to just text, pictures and videos--minus the site's style and formatting, which can sometimes hinder or befuddle casual reading.

Google reader lets you subscribe to these feeds as easily as typing them into your browser's address bar, and lets you read them like you're browsing through e-mail. There are many online RSS readers available, but Google is one of the best. It's easy to get a grip on Google Reader basics, but there are several tips and tricks that can make it extremely productive.

Setup: Finding RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, nearly every site has an RSS feed, and you can usually find it by scrolling around and hunting for the little RSS logo (a little orange box with three white waves). What makes Google Reader particularly useful is that it can take any old Web site URL and find the RSS feed on its own. If you don't quite remember the name of the site, or the exact URL, Google Reader has a built in directory you can search by keyword. There's also a neat feature called "bundles" that has over a dozen themed groups of preselected feeds you can subscribe to at once. Adding one of these bundles organizes the newly subscribed feeds into a handy folder.

Organizing

Once you get going with Google Reader, you'll likely have a bunch of sites that need organizing into groups. The easiest tool to handle this is folders. To begin this process, just click on manage subscriptions in the lower left-hand corner of Google Reader's main page. This will take you to an options menu where you can create and delete folders and feeds, as well as quickly categorize the feeds you have into folders.

To change or make a new folder, there's a drop-down menu on the far right side of each feed. To make a new folder, click on it, and pick the New Folder option. After naming it, the feed you clicked on in the first place will automatically be sorted into this folder. Once you've created a folder, you can quickly add several feeds by clicking the drop-down button on the far right to change folders.

Seasoned Gmail users might be familiar with "starring" and labeling, Google's simplified version of managing feeds and stories instead of folders. Google Reader is no different, letting you star or tag posts with labels for quick sorting later on. There are two ways to star a story--either click on the star icon on the top left of a story, or add star option on the bottom left. To read through just starred items, pick the starred items feed on the top left menu.

Labeling is a slightly more complicated affair, but a powerful tool to swap through genres of feeds with just a few keystrokes. Like stars, you can tag any feed item on the fly by clicking the edit tags button on the lower right hand side of the story. You'll notice right away the story has automatically been tagged with its parent folder. To actually search through tags, you'll have to use a simple keyboard shortcut by pressing G followed by T. This will pull up an overlay that lets you sort through stories by tag using your keyboard arrows. We'll get into more depth on keyboard shortcuts in the advanced tidbits section below.

Continue reading to learn how to read and share feeds, along with some advanced tidbits for taking your reading to the next level.

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Teaching the iPhone's keyboard

The iPhone's virtual keyboard has some interesting methods for improving typing accuracy. As previously reported, it can dynamically change the "hot zone" for for a given key to be larger if it expects you will type said key next. If, for example, you type "fiel," the iPhone will automatically increase the size of the "d" key's hot zone (since no common words other than "field" start with "fiel"). This way, even if you don't precisely hit the "d" key, the iPhone will be able to … Read more

How to use QuickTime 7.2's new iPhone video export

QuickTime 7.2, released yesterday, adds the ability to export iPhone-compatible video files -- if you've purhcased QuickTime Pro for $30, that is. There are two new formats offered:

"Movie to iPhone" "Movie to iPhone (Cellular)"

The first exports video at 480x266 pixels, reducing file size and quality the the maximum level allowed by the iPhone (the device supports up to 1.5 Mbps throughput and 30 frames per second). The second delivers a much smaller file that is meant for delivery over EDGE.

Getting movies onto your iPhone with QuickTime 7.2 is easy. … Read more

Your iPhone has a built-in AT&T email address

iPhones, like most other data-enabled phones from AT&T, have a built-in email-to-text address:

yournumber@txt.att.net

Sending a message to this address (replace "yournumber" with your line of service number -- full number including area code with no dashes and no preceding "1") will result in a text message arriving on your iPhone through the built in SMS application. Text messaging charges apply.

Note: For unknown reasons, this feature may not work for all AT&T subscribers. If you receive a bounce-back, try calling AT&T's technical support for assistance. … Read more

The iPhone's multi-language support: English-only input, other languages display

Several readers have asked if the iPhone supports languages other than English. Jeffrey Williams writes:

"Here is a question I have not seen addressed anywhere: does the iPhone support ideographic languages like Chinese and Japanese? OS X support for display and input of these languages is quite good, and my Treo runs an OS extension that allows for using these languages. If someone sends a Chinese SMS to an iPhone, can it be displayed?"

The answer is that while the iPhone cannot accept input text in languages other than English and currently offers no options to display interface … Read more

Integrating the iPhone with car Bluetooth systems

We previously noted that the iPhone is significantly hampered with regard to Bluetooth connectivity. Under Mac OS X, Apple's Bluetooth File Exchange cannot send files to the iPhone and iSync cannot be used to synchronize with the iPhone. We've also yet to hear of a Windows utility that can perform an Bluetooth-based synchronization or exchange with the iPhone.

The iPhone can however, integrate easily with most cars' hands-free Bluetooth systems. We've identified some compatible systems, and instructions for a few.

Toyota (Prius and other models) The iPhone integrates well with this system. Instructions for pairing from iPhone … Read more